Riverdale woman to run across the US for MS
A runner from Riverdale is gearing up for the biggest race she's ever run, and she's doing it for a cause that's affected her personally.
Willmien Blake is lacing up her sneakers for the race of a lifetime. The "MS Run the US" is a 3,260-mile relay across the country.
With 19 team members passing the baton state to state, they are raising money for multiple sclerosis.
"It becomes this brotherhood to a certain extent," said Blake.
Blake has been a runner for years, and in 2013, she noticed something was off. "I could literally draw a line down my body and the entire right side of my body was numb," said Blake.
That's when doctors diagnosed Blake with MS. Instead of this becoming a roadblock, the diagnosis served as fuel for her body's engine.
Blake says she pushed barriers and tested limits, going from short distances to 50-mile ultra marathons.
"I'm a very stubborn person.. the disease is very unpredictable so I did not know whether the next day or the next run would be my last so I wanted to get in as much as I can on my own terms," said Blake.
This July, Blake will run "Segment 15" of the relay--141 miles in five days from Indiana to Ohio. That is over 28 miles a day, every day. This distance is longer than a marathon.
The race is set to wrap up in New York in August. Blake is hoping to exceed the $10,000 donation goal for research and patient support. She also says he wants to serve as a living example of a carpe diem-seize the day mentality.
"Do what you love and do it today.. if you love something and wanna do something just go for it," said Blake.